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STANDING RULES AND ORDERS
FOR CONDUCTING BUSINESS IN
THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES.
TOUCUING THE DUTY OF THE SPEAKER.
1. He shall take the chair every day precisely at the hour to which the House shall have adjourned on the preceding day; shall immedi. ately call the members to order; and, on the appearance of a quorum, shall cause the journal of the preceding day to be read.- April 7, 1789.
2. He shall preserve order and decorum ; may speak to points of order in preference to other members, rising from his seat for that pur. pose; and shall decide questions of order, subject to an appeal to the House by any two members, April 7, 1789; on which appeal no member shall speak more than once, except by leave of the House.--December 23, 1811.
3. He shall rise to put a question, but may state it sitting - April 7, 1789.
4. Questions shall be distinctly put in this form, to wit: "As many as are of opinion that (as the question may be) say “dy;" and after the affirmative voice is expressed, “As many as are of the contrary opinion, say No.” If the Speaker doubt, or a division be called for, the House shall divide; those in the affirmative of the question shall first rise from their seats, and afterward those in the negative. If the Speaker still doubt, or a count be required, by at least one-fifth of a quorum of the members, the Speaker shall name two members, one from each side, to tell the members in the affirmative and negative; whicb being reported, he shall rise and state the decision to the House.—March 16, 1860.
5. The Speaker shall examine and correct the journal before it is read. He shall bave a general direction of the hall, and the upappropriated rooms in that part of the Capitol assigned to the House shall be subject to his order and disposal until the further order of the House. He shall have a right to name any member to perform the duties of the Chair, but such substitution shall not extend beyond an adjournment.—December 23, 1811, and May 26, 1824. Provided, however, tbat in the case of the personal illness of the Speaker, he may make such appointment for a period not exceeding ten days, with the approval of the House at the time the same is made.- April 28, 1876.
6. No person shall be permitted to perform divine service in the chanber occupied by the House of Representatives, unless with the consent of the Speaker.-May 19, 1804.
7. In all cases of ballot by the House, the Speaker shall vote; in other cases he shall not be required to vote, unless the House be equally divided, or unless his vote, if given to the minority, will make the division equal; and in case of such equal division, the question shall be lost.-April 7, 1789.
8. All acts, addresses, and joint resolutions, shall be signed by the Speaker; and all writs, warrants, and subpænas, issued by order of the House, shall be under bis band and seal, attested by the Clerk.-November 13, 1794.
9. In case of any disturbance or disorderly conduct in the galleries or lobby, the Speaker (or chairman of the Committee of the Whole House) shall have power to order the same to be cleared.—March 14, 1794.
OF THE CLERK AND OTHER OFFICERS.
10. There sball be elected at the commencement of each Congress, to continue in office until their successors are appointed, a Clerk, Sergeant. at-Arms, Doorkeeper, and Postmaster, each of whom shall take an oath for the true and faithful discharge of the duties of his office, to the best of his knowledge and abilities, and to keep the secrets of the House; and the appointees of the Doorkeeper and Postmaster shall be subject to the approval of the Speaker; and, in all cases of election by the House of its officers, the vote shall be taken viva voce. — Jarch 16, 1860.
11. In all cases where other than members of the House inay be eli. gible to an office by the election of the House, there shall be a previous nomination.-April 7, 1789.
12. In all other cases of ballot than for committees, a majority of the votes given shall be necessary to an election; and where there shall not be such a majority on the first ballot, the ballots shall be repeated until a majority be obtained.—April 7, 1789. And in all ballotings blanks shall be rejected, and not taken into the count in enumeration of votes, or reported by the tellers.— September 15, 1837.
13. It shall be the duty of the Clerk to make, and cause to be printed, and delivered to each member, at the commencement of every session of Congress, a list of the reports which it is the duty of any officer or department of the government to make to Congress; referring to the act or resolution, and page of the volume of the laws or journal in which it may be contained; and placing under the name of each officer the list of reports required of him to be made, and the time when the report may be expected.–March 13, 1822.
14. It shall be the duty of the Clerk of the House, at the end of each session, to send a printed copy of the journals thereof to the executive and to each branch of the legislature of every State.- November 13, 1794.
15. All questions of order shall be noted by the Clerk, with the de. cision, and put together at the end of the journal of every session.December 23, 1811.
16. The Clerk sball, within thirty days after the close of each session of Congress, cause to be completed the printing and primary distribution, to members and delegates, of the Journal of the Ilouse, together with an accurate index to the same.-June 18, 1832.
17. There shall be retained in the library of the Clerk's office, for the use of the members there, and not to be withdrawn therefrom, two copies of all the books and printed documents deposited in the library.December 22, 1826.
18. The Clerk sball have preserved for each member of the House an extra copy, in good binding, of all the docuinents printed by order of either house at each future session of Congress.—February 9, 1831.
19. The Clerk shall make a weekly statement of the resolutions and bills (Senate bills inclusive) upon the Speaker's table, accompanied with a brief reference to the orders and proceedings of the flouse upon each, and the date of such orders and proceedings; which statement sball be printed for the use of the members.-April 21, 1836.
20. The Clerk shall cause an index to be prepared to the acts passed at every session of Congress, and to be printed and bound with the acts.July 4, 1832.
21. All contracts, bargains, or agreements, relative to the furnishing any matter or thing, or for the performance of any labor, for the House of Representatives, shall be made with the Clerk, or approved by him, before any allowance shall be made therefor by the Committee of Accounts.—January 30, 1846.
22. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to attend the House during its sittings; to aid in the enforcement of order under the direction of the Speaker, and, pending the election of a Speaker, under the direction of the Clerk; to execute the commands of the House from time to time; together with all such process, issued by authority thereof, as shall be directed to him by the Speaker.-- April 14, 1789.
23. The symbol of bis office (the mace) shall be borne by the Sergeantat-Arms when in the execution of his office.- April 14, 1789.
24. The fees of the Sergeant-at-Arms shall be, for every arrest, the sum of two dollars; for each day's custody and releasement, one dollar; and for traveling.expenses for himself or a special messenger, going and returning, one-tenth of a dollar for each mile- April 14, 1789—necessarily and actually traveled by such officer or other person in the exe. cution of such precept or summons.- March 19, 1860.
25. It shall be the duty of the Sergeant-at-Arms to keep the accounts for the pay and mileage of members, to prepare checks, and, if required to do so, to draw the money on such checks for the members (the same being previously signed by the Speaker, and indorsed by the member), and pay over the same to the member entitled thereto. - April 4, 1838.
26. The Sergeant-at-Arms shall give bond, with surety, to the United States, in a sum not less than five nor more than ten thousand dollars, at the discretion of the Speaker, and with such surety as the Speaker may approve, faithfully to account for the money coming into his hands for the pay of members.-April 4, 1838.
27. The Doorkeeper shall execute strictly the 134th and 135th rules, relative to the privilege of the ball.-March 1, 1838. And he shall be required at the commencement and close of each session of Congress to take an inventory of all the furniture, books, and other public property in the several committee and other rooms under his charge, and shall report the same to the House ; which report shall be referred to the Committee on Accounts, who shall determine the amount for which he shall be held liable for missing articles.- March 2, 1865. It is the duty of the Doorkeeper, ten minutes before the hour for the meeting of the House each day, to see that the floor is cleared of all persons except those privileged to remain during the sessions of the House.—March 31, 1869.
28. The Postmaster shall superintend the post-office kept in the Capitol for the accommodation of the inembers.-April 4, 1838.
OF THE MEMBERS.
29. No member shall vote on any question in the event of which he is immediately and particularly interested, or in any case where he was not within the bar of the House when the question was put.- April 17, 1789. When the roll-call is completed, the Speaker shall state that any member offering to vote does so upon the assurance that he was within the bar before the last name on the roll was called.-March 19, 1869. Provided,
however, that any member who was absent by leare of the House may vote at any time before the result is announced.-March 2, 1865. It is not in order for the Speaker to entertain any request for a member to change his vote on any question after the result shall have been declared, nor sball any member be allowed to record his vote on any question, if he was not present when such vote was taken.-May 27, 1870.
30. Upon a division and count of the House on any question, no mem. ber without the bar shall be counted.-November 13, 1794.
31. Every member who shall be in the flouse when the question is put shall give his vote, unless the House shall excuse him.- April 7, 1789. All motions to excuse a member from voting shall be made before the House divides, or before the call of the yeas and nays is commenced ; and the question shall then be taken without debate.- September 14, 1837.
32. The name of a member who presents a petition or memorial, or who offers a resolution to the consideration of the House, shall be in. serted on the journals.—March 22, 1806.
33. No member shall absent himself from the service of the House, unless he have leave, or be sick or unable to attend.-April 13, 1789.
OF CALLS OF THE HOUSE.
34. Any fifteen members (including the Speaker, if there be one) shall be authorized to compel the attendance of absent members.-April 17, 1789.
35. Upon calls of the House, or in taking the yeas and nays on any question, the names of the members shall be called alphabetically.April 7, 1789.
36. Upon the call of the House, the names of the members shall be called over by the Clerk, and the absentees noted ; after which the names of the absentees sball again be called over; the doors shall then be shut, and those for whom no excuse or insufficient excuses are made may, by order of those present, if fifteen in number, be taken into custody as they appear, or may be sent for and taken into custody, wherever to be found, by special messengers to be appointed for tbat purpose.- November 13, 1789, and December 14, 1795.
37. When a member shall be discharged from custody, and admitted to his seat, the House shall determine whether such discharge shall be with or without paying fees; and in like manner, whether a delinquent member, taken into custody by a special messenger, shall or sball not be liable to defray the expenses of such special messenger.-November 13, 1794.
ON MOTIONS, THEIR PRECEDENCE, ETC.
38. When a motion is made and seconded, it shall be stated by the Speaker; or, being in writing, it shall be banded to the Chair and read aloud by the Clerk, before debated.-dpril 7, 1789.
39. Every motion shall be reduced to writing if the Speaker or any member desire it.- April 7, 1789. Every written motion made to the House shall be inserted on the journals, with the name of the member making it, unless it be withdrawn on the same day on which it was submitted.—March 26, 1806.
40. After a motion is stated by the Speaker, or read by the Clerk, it shall be deemed to be in the possession of the House; but may be with. drawn at any time before a decision or amendment.-April 7, 1789.
41. When any motion or proposition is made, the question, “ Will the House now consider it?" shall not be put unless it is demanded by some member, or is deemed necessary by the Speaker.- December 12, 1817.
42. When a question is under debate, no motion shall be received but to adjourn, to lie on the table, for the previous question, to postpone to a day certain, to commit or amend, to postpone indefinitely; which sev. eral motions shall have preference in the order in which they are arranged- March 13, 1822-and no motion to postpone to a day certain, to commit, or to postpone indefinitely, being decided, shall be again allowed on the same day, and at the same stage of the bill or proposi. tion.
43. When a resolution shall be offered, or a motion made, to refer any subject, and different committees shall be proposed, the question shall be taken in the following order:
The Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, the Committee of the Whole House, a standing committee, a select committee.—March 13, 1825.
44. A motion to adjourn, and a motion to fix a day to which the House shall adjourn, shall be always in order-April 7, 1789, and January 14, 1840; these motions, and the motion to lie on the table, shall be decided without debate.- November 13, 1794; March 13, 1822.
45. The hour at which every motion to adjourn is made shall be entered on the journal.- October 9, 1837.
46. Any member may call for the division of a question, before or after the main question is ordered, which shall be divided if it comprehend propositions in substance so distinct that, one being taken away, a sub. stantive proposition shall remain for the decision of the House.-September 15, 1837. A motion to strike out and insert shall be deemed indivisible- December 23, 1811; but a motion to strike out being lost, shall preclude neither amendment nor a motion to strike out and insert.- March 13, 1822.
47. Motions and reports may be committed at the pleasure of the House.—April 7, 1789.
48. No motion or proposition on a subject different from that under consideration shall be admitted under color of amendment.- March 13, 1822. No bill or resolution shall, at any time, be amended by annexing thereto, or incorporating therewith, any other bill or resolution pending before the House.— September 15, 1837.
49. When a motion has been once made, and carried in the affirmative or negative, it shall be in order for any member of the majority to move for the reconsideration thereof-January 7, 1802—on the same or succeeding day-December 23, 1811; and such motion shall take prece. dence of all other questions, except a motion to adjourn—May 6, 1828– and shall not be withdrawn after the said succeeding day without the consent of the House; and thereafter any member may call it up for consideration.—March 2, 1848.
50. In filling up blanks, the largest sum and longest time shall be first put.-April 7, 1789.
ORDER OF BUSINESS OF TIIE DAY. 51. As soon as the journal is read, and the unfinished business in which the House was engaged at the last preceding adjournment has been disposed of, reports from committees shall be called for and dis. posed of; in doing which the Speaker shall call upon each standing committee in regular order, and then upon select committees; and if the Speaker shall not get through the call upon the committees before